Into the Abyss: Turkish Impressions of a U.S.-Turkish Break

Source:Bipartisan Policy Center Date:26Aug2018

Even though I don’t agree with the conclusion about Erdogan’s motives, a laudable effort to understand Turko-American tensions and  possible consequences.


Ironically, Turkey’s faith in the endurance of the relationship has, until recently at least, been mirrored by the belief of many in Washington that Erdogan will eventually realize he needs the United States and abandon his own provocative behavior. Certainly supporters of the current sanctions against Ankara have argued that these can serve as the first step toward bringing Erdogan back in line.  It is entirely possible that, facing a deepening economic crisis and a dangerous situation in northern Syria, Erdogan may be compelled to back down and release Pastor Brunson. But in the long run, it is also entirely possible, even likley, that he would rather impoverish and destabilize his country than repeatedly give in to U.S. pressure. The risk is that out of some combination of delusion or ideological commitment, Ankara may truly be willing to break with the United States, even without a compelling strategy for what comes next.